The American Nurses Association (ANA) today announced its strong opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the recently introduced legislation intended to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In a letter sent to Congressional leaders today, ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN said, “The President committed to repeal the ACA and replace it with something better. The AHCA fails to fulfill that promise. The AHCA, as drafted, would jeopardize the health of Americans with pre-existing conditions, eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which has effectively helped reduce chronic disease rates, and result in millions of Americans losing critical coverage for mental health and substance-use disorders.”
As it is currently written, the AHCA restructures the Medicaid program, restricts millions of women from access to health care, and repeals income-based subsidies, which will disrupt health care coverage for millions of Americans. In addition, ANA remains troubled by the absence of testimony from non-partisan experts like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
ANA urges Congress to allow for opportunities for thoughtful, public feedback in the face of reforms that would have such a far-reaching and personal impact across the nation.
In January, the ANA shared its health system reform priorities with Congress. These priorities demanded that careful consideration be given to any legislative proposal which would fundamentally alter health care delivery and impact patients. As the nation’s largest group of health care professionals and the nation’s most trusted profession, ANA asks Congress to keep patients’ health security foremost in their discussions over how to improve the nation’s health care system. ANA stands ready to work with the administration and Congress as a constructive voice and positive force for improving health care delivery, coverage, and affordability for the American people.